Need some help picking proper lighting for my 20L - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 13
Need some help picking proper lighting for my 20L

Hi, I'm new to planted tanks(and Yesterday I bought a 20gal long (30'' x 12'' x 12''). I'm pretty excited about getting it set up, but I've run into some trouble picking lighting for it. Currently I have a perfect-a-lite top w/its default lighting - "Eclipse F18T8 Natural Daylight" which looks like the one in this picture The bulb itself is of the 22 inches long variety. So, I'm trying to order proper lighting from Dr Fosters (to save on shipping, I'm poor), so which, if any, of these choices would be the best(and cheap) for my new planted tank, or could anyone suggest something better? I'm pretty open to options.

------------- - the CD-518992 Ultra-Daylight Twin Tube 8800K (65 watt, 22" L) Regular $ 32.99 Special 16.99

Would 65 watts for a 20L be considered "high" lighting? is 8800K too high? I don't wanna wash out my fishies with too much light.. Would the pins even work with my current light? What would I need to do to make it work?

I guess the 65 watt options. Once again, would they even fit in my current setup? How would I make 'em work :-/


I guess any of the 55 or 65 watt options on the page, but once again, I have no idea how to pick which one would work with my system

Any insight would be MUCH appreciated. I'd hate to pick the wrong thing and be outta the money, or deal with the hastle of returning it, or worse yet, postpone setting up my fish tank ! Thanks
nebulous is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 05:40 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 149
hey nebulous,

welcome to the board.

I think most pople would tell you to go to
for lighting retrofit kits. They're well made, and inexpensive. I'm saving for one now

I'd recommend going for the 1x55watt package. I don't see why you'd need anything
more, being that you've got a 20g. That should promote plant growth, but not
let anything get too out of hand.

Good luck!
jbarone is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 05:54 PM
Are these real?
Wasserpest's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,526
You'd have to consider the length of the tank. With a 22" bulb, like the 55/65W PC bulbs, you would only light the center and have some pretty dark sides! Also, none of those bulbs will work with your existing fixture, you would need a different ballast and fixture.

If you want to go the PC way, AHSupply is indeed a good place. There you could get the complete kit, including a pretty good reflector. And you could choose the 55W kit, for a center-weighted lighting, or better, a 36W and a 13W kit, which together should light the 30" alright.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2004, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 13
Thanks for the replies!

I guess I decided on ODNO - so I hit up the hardware store this evening and picked up a pretty nice ballast, and 2 17w lights, each light is 2x overdriven, so I'm looking at, correct me please if I am wrong, around 68 watts total? I've tested it briefly just all connected up w/electrical tape and it seemed to work fine and was signifigantly brighter Now I'm in the process of making it look purdy and fit in the housing properly. Hopefully I'll be done by tomorrow.

Does this sound like a decent lighting system for a 20g long? I'm definitely going to have co2. Thanks!
nebulous is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2004, 04:40 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 103
ODNO seems to be the cheap alternative that works, just make sure you keep your heat issues in check with a fan if needed. I am running two overdriven 4x 20W bulbs over my 20 long myself and am enjoying it greatly.

Two 17w lights should be enough to give you some decent results I think. Make sure you wire nut your connections though, twist and tape is not a good method for long term use in an area that may get hot.

If you've got a camera, take some pics and post what you've done. We're all interested in DIY projects.
Desolas is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2004, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 13
Whew, I've basically finished the project - I have some pics too, just need to find the cable to my digital camera :-/ Anyway, I don't have a reflector right now, so I need to make one, any suggestions? I have some foil tape that I was thinking about using to tape the interior housing where the lights are as a reflector, but I wasn't sure how effective that would be...otherwise, I might just paint it white or something, I'm not sure. Does anyone have any experience w/foil tape? Does it work well? Or should I do somethin else?

nebulous is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2004, 10:30 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
corigan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Woodstock, GA
Posts: 683
Originally Posted by nebulous
Does anyone have any experience w/foil tape? Does it work well? Or should I do somethin else?
Gloss White Paint is better at reflecting than foil.


Member #6 of the Eheim Pimp Club - 2 Eheim 2213 & 2215 w/ surface extractor, LiquidDoser and Auto Feeder.
corigan is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 02:19 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 103
A lighting supply house near me sells reflector material in bulk, I'd look into that before using paint or foil, a polished surface will work best. If you can't find it unbent you can buy a large multi use reflector and cut it down for your needs.
Desolas is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cheap lighting - ODNO GulfCoastAquarian The Planted Tank FAQ 279 02-15-2014 09:01 AM
How much lighting? Mothi Lighting 1 09-16-2004 07:24 PM
2x36w AHSupply Lighting jbarone Lighting 5 07-09-2004 12:42 PM
10 gal lighting! need help. novice. pisces38 Lighting 5 06-11-2004 10:02 PM
Lighting Survey DLeDeaux Lighting 12 12-19-2003 08:53 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome